Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
Do you have a favorite tree?
Countless varieties flourish on the earth, but Psalm 92 mentions three with a descriptive promise attached:
The godly will flourish like palm trees,
grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon,
and still bear fruit in their old age ( vs 12-15).
I like trees such as pine and spruce that catch an evening breeze in their branches, regardless of the season.
Each fall I marvel at the golden leaves of aspen glimmering along the slopes of Colorado’s mountains.
Apple, pear, peach, cherry, and nectarine trees blossomed this spring in our orchard, promising a fruitful reward.
And giant cottonwoods grow nearby, the poorer cousins of the glittering aspen and a member of the poplar family. Now full with mature summer leaves, the cottonwoods sing, even in a light breeze. Each leaf responds, and the combined murmurs raise a chorus akin to a “rushing, mighty wind.”
An interesting verse in 2 Samuel records what God told David about his upcoming battle plans. “When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees …the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army” (5:24). Some translations list the trees as mulberry trees, others as balsam, or aspen, but their exact identity is unknown.
Trees seem to have made an impression on the poet-king, David, for he writes that the person who seeks God’s way is like a tree planted by rivers of water.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The tree described by David is not a silent winter tree. Not even a spring or fall tree, but a full-leafed tree of summer with leaves that do not wither.
It offers wind song, shade, and comfort, but those benefits are conditional.
This tree is planted by the river—one of God’s metaphors for life.
The men or women like this tree don’t seek guidance from ungodly people.
They don’t hang around with people who deliberately do wrong things,
And they avoid sceptics and scoffers (not sincere seekers).
Instead, blessings come to the people who read and know God’s word, spend time thinking about it, and endeavor to do what it says.
We can be like this tree if we choose. Our roots can reach down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love, anchoring us near that water of life. We can be a summer tree, full of life and song if we drink in His words, His ways, and His promises.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
Psalm 96:12 NKJV
Have your name entered for a chance to win an e-copy of Hope Is Built by commenting below about your favorite tree. What is it and why is it your favorite?
Mary skipped the noon meal, appeasing Helen’s motherly concern by accepting a slice of buttered bread. Ignoring the family’s—well, familiness—was something she simply could not do in the midst of them, and she was too torn to try.
The day was warm and the shaded swing in the big cottonwood tree beckoned, low enough to the ground that Mary could sit in it without holding to the ropes. She looked toward the ranch house, pleased that no westerly windows gave the occupants a view of her whereabouts. But she knew her position was clear to anyone watching from the parlor.
She wrapped her left arm around one rope, turning in time to see the thin parlor curtain fall into place. Surely the boys were peeking on her.
The back screen door slapped three times.
That meant three hungry little Huttons had bounded inside, popping her conjecture like a circus balloon. Perhaps it was Helen who had spied her through the curtain.
Mary fingered a dab of butter and stuck it in her mouth. Creamy and smooth, but not nearly as good as an Ayrshire could produce.
Heat climbed her neck as she licked her finger clean. Of course it wasn’t Helen behind the curtain.
She’d never felt more of an outsider than she did at that moment. Things had turned out so differently than she’d expected when she set a course for Colorado. She’d been emboldened by her aunt’s and uncle’s love, assured of their welcoming embraces and warm smiles, and she had relished the thought of being away from Lewis and his grumping.
Now she almost missed him.
Now she had no one and nothing. ~Hope Is Built, Colorado Book Award Finalist
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(c) 2023 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.